Today’s blog post highlights both a member of the Special Collections and University Archives staff, Becky Jordan, and some items from the Marie Hall Papers (RS 21/7/51).
Becky Jordan is the Reference Specialist here. She has worked in the department the longest and has graciously answered a few questions about herself.
How did you get started in Special Collections & University Archives at Iowa State University?
I had worked in the Library as a student, and so was somewhat familiar with the University’s Merit System jobs. Several months before I graduated, I took the test for Secretary I over at Human Resources in Beardshear Hall (I was an English major, so I had excellent typing skills). It happened that there were two secretarial jobs open in the Library, and I interviewed for both during final week of my last quarter—we were still on the quarter system then. I graduated on Saturday, March 1, 1975, and was offered the secretarial job in Special Collections the next Monday. My first day was the following Friday, March 7. I’ve never left!
What do you do?
I handle reference requests relating to the collections in the department. Most are from people off-campus and can cover any topic, from aircraft design to the 1895 football team. I regularly do tours of the department, for classes and other groups. I also spend at least six hours a week at our public desk in room 403 of the Parks Library.
Why’d you pick this collection/item to highlight?
This is Marie Hall’s college “Memory Book” from the Marie Hall Papers (RS 21/7/51). Marie entered Iowa State in the Fall of 1916 and graduated in the Spring of 1920.
The scrapbook begins with a letter to the incoming freshman class and the Iowa State College Handbook, and ends with the invitation to the 1920 Commencement. In between, she saved what looks like everything—dance cards, newsclippings, programs from events, invitations, greeting cards and photographs. I like to use this for class tours, because it includes “General House Rules for Young Women of Iowa State College.” I read them off and ask the students if they think they could follow the rules today. We lose them right away with the 10:30 bedtime.
Becky’s last comment about working in Special Collections and University Archives: “I’ve always enjoyed working here, because we learn something new every day.”
Drop by the reading room to check out other collections documenting the history Iowa State University!